How long does dough last in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long does dough last in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of the dough in different conditions. Moreover, we are going to discuss the factors that affect the shelf life of dough and the tips to properly store dough.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long does dough last in the fridge?

The dough lasts for about 3-5 days in the fridge if stored in a greased air-tight container or plastic zipper bag at or below 40°F. But the shelf life of different doughs varies, as the dough in which water is added lasts for about 5 days while the dough that has milk added in it lasts for about 3 days when stored properly in the fridge. 

Moreover, if you have stored your dough in a simple greased container, it is recommended to wrap it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap to preserve its freshness and flavor for a long time.

You can read about the benefits of refrigerating dough here.

Why should you refrigerate the dough?

So when it comes to dough, apart from some variations almost all the doughs have flour, water, salt, and yeast added to it. Now all other ingredients are stable individually but once they are mixed and the yeast starts activating, then you need to refrigerate your dough properly. 

Now what refrigeration does is that it cools down the dough and when the dough is cold the yeast is not active anymore. The yeast goes into hibernation mode and once you bring the dough out of the fridge, the yeast activates itself again.

What is the optimum temperature to store the dough in the fridge?

You should always store your dough at 40°F or below in the fridge (the lower the temperature is the slower will be the rate of fermentation). Bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40°F and 140°F, therefore it is always advised to store dough at a lower temperature to preserve its freshness and quality for a long time.

What are the factors that affect the shelf life of the dough?

Several factors affect the shelf life of the dough.

  1. The preparation method of dough and the type of dough
  2. The quality of ingredients used to make the dough
  3. The amount of yeast added to the dough
  4. The temperature of the dough when it was stored in the refrigerator
  5. The duration for which the dough fermented before putting it in the fridge
  6. The temperature of the fridge and the storage conditions

How long does dough last at room temperature?

The time for which a dough lasts at room temperature depends upon the quantity of the yeast that was added to the dough and the temperature of the surroundings. So different doughs can last for about 4-12 hours at room temperature if covered properly. But it is better if you refrigerate your dough within 4 hours.

It is worth mentioning that the higher the quantity of yeast is, the quicker the fermentation process will be. Moreover, the warmer the temperature is, the quicker will be the fermentation. So you should keep these factors in consideration while storing the dough at room temperature.

How long does dough last in the freezer?

The dough lasts for about 3 months in the freezer if stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag. Moreover, you should wrap plastic wrap around the container for better protection. The dough that has some dairy products added in it has a short shelf life and lasts for about a month in the freezer.

Thus storing the dough properly in the freezer will increase its shelf life considerably owing to the cool temperature of the freezer that halts the bacterial growth on the dough.

When you want to use the frozen dough, it is recommended to let it thaw by leaving it in the fridge overnight.

How to tell if your dough has gone bad?

You can tell if your dough has gone bad by considering its appearance, texture, and smell.

Appearance

If you spot a mold in your dough then it is the indication that your dough has gone bad.

The presence of grey flakes or grey hints in the dough is the indication of dead yeast activators and such a dough has gone bad. Moreover, if you see some whitish spots on the dough or if there are some freezer crystals in the dough, they point toward the freezer burns.

Texture

If the dough has dried up or it has a diminished texture then it is an indication that it is past its prime age.

Smell

If you notice a sour smell or some odd smell then it means that your dough has gone bad and you should discard it.

How to store dough properly?

  1. You should store the dough in a greased air-tight container. The air-tight container will ensure that air won’t find its way to your dough, thereby preserving its freshness for a long time.
  2. Moreover, you should store your dough on one of the shelves of the refrigerator instead of the door. The reason behind this is that there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge.
  3. The dough should be stored on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator as it is the coldest part of the refrigerator and has its temperature between 38 °F to 40 °F.
  4. If you want to freeze the dough, it is better to store it in a plastic freezer bag or air-tight container. Moreover, for better protection, you can wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long does dough last in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of the dough in different conditions. Moreover, we discussed the factors that affect the shelf life of dough and the tips to properly store dough.

Citations

https://www.quora.com/How-long-can-you-leave-risen-homemade-bread-dough-in-the-fridge-before-its-no-good

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Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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